PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Halfway through the Patriots’ 17-10 win over the Eagles Sunday, it really felt like the Eagles had started to figure things out. In their offensive kitchen, the cooks were settling into their recipe.
They pounded the Patriots on the ground, consistently dominating the line of scrimmage and averaging over five yards per carry. They conducted a “Big Boy Drive” of 95 yards, taking over nine minutes of game clock on their way to a touchdown and a 10-0 lead against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Then Lane Johnson got hurt, Doug Pederson stopped running the ball, and the Patriots’ defense began dictating terms.
Which leads us to this week’s Koobservations:
There’s not enough offensive talent for the Eagles to beat the best
File this under “duh.”
Eagles wide receivers combined for six receptions on 40 pass attempts. That’s simply not good enough. Nelson Agholor’s drops are well documented and he repeatedly said he was able to track the final pass of the game, despite dropping it. But this has become such a tired discussion.
Production from wide receivers has been non-existent. Alshon Jeffery leads the group with 353 yards this season. That’s tied for 77th in the league. That’s behind 70-year-old Larry Fitzgerald, Emmanuel Sanders (who tore his Achilles last year) and whatever a Diontae Johnson is.
There are 15 running backs and tight ends league-wide who have more production than Jeffery.
Agholor is 99th in the league with 282 yards receiving — 50 yards less than Jason Witten.
So it’s no surprise that Carson Wentz has struggled.
Press vs. Regress
I’m firmly in the “Carson Wentz is a stud” camp. But even I have come back down to Earth. Is he pressing because of the lack of talent around him or has he regressed?
You watch him sail ball after ball in the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ loss. You see him hold onto the ball for four, sometimes five seconds, until he gets sacked. These are Carson problems. And yet, he hasn’t turned the ball over at a rate consistent with quarterbacks pressing. He has five interceptions through 10 games (with an increase in fumbling, admittedly). That’s a sign of a quarterback maturing and making better decisions with the football.
But when you watch Wentz, does it feel like he’s being careful with the football or is he just getting lucky?
He wants to hit home runs on every play and it’s costing his team. So is the lack of talent around him. So is the lack of a consistent run game. I’m perplexed.
Defense getting healthy
There are no silver linings nor are there moral victories in the NFL. If you were to unearth any, it would be the play of the Eagles’ defense since getting embarrassed in Dallas — three games, no more than 17 points allowed.
They forced the Patriots into three first-half field goals, including putting out the fire after a Carson fumble in the first half.
The back end is finally healthy and playing complimentary football with the pass rush. A secondary that was in a hurry to hand out 100-yard receiving days hasn’t allowed one since Amari Cooper went for 105 a month ago.
The problem is…. no one else is healthy
The Birds may be the only team to ever not benefit from a bye week.
The second to last drive was almost comical if it wasn’t so sad. Missing from that drive was the Eagles’:
RB1 (Jordan Howard)
WR1 (Alshon Jeffery)
WR2 (DeSean Jackson)
WR3 (Agholor, who briefly exited)
Right Tackle (Lane Johnson, injured earlier)
Left Tackle (Jason Peters, old, mandatory in-game injury)
Jason Kelce also go nicked up in the middle of the drive, but stayed in.
There’s no longer a reasonable expectation the offense can or will deliver with the skill position players they have.
Boston Scott repeatedly touched the football Sunday. What did you think was going to happen?